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tv   RT News  PBS  August 23, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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> the government of yemen has requested a supply of drugs from the u.s. hoping it will help against al qaeda threats. the u.s. attorney for eastern virginia is leaving his post. his office has a history of going after notable figures like cia whistleblower [inaudible] and wikileaks. we will look at what his work
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means for some of the cases. how about a tax exempt status for atheist groups? there is a battle in the courts brewing over this issue. we will tell you more later in the show. hello, it's friday, august 23 in washington, d.c. we start our newscast in yemen where the countries leaders have requested drone technology in order to increase the country cost defend -- the country's defense against militants. weeks after american drone strikes hit the country nine times in a two-week period. the u.s. and other western countries closed a number of embassies as a result of and i qaeda threat -- as a result of
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an al qaeda threat. according to the associated press, the president said the u.s. jones had been carrying out attacks in yemen in accordance with an agreement to combat terrorism. it was signed by the u.s. and former yemeni president after the september 11 attacks. the u.s. acknowledges it has a drone program which is conducted from within the country. it does not disclose information about individual strikes. whethenow to an ongoing issue oe nsa. it has been the subject of controversy since the lakes of edward snowden which demonstrated the agency was spying on american citizens and breaking court order drills to do so. in a new interview, president obama said this over -- about
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the oversight of the nsa. >> what was learned was nsa had in it ridley, -- inadvertently pulled the files of americans in violation of their own rules. they presented those problems to the court. the court said, this is not going to cut it. you will improve the safeguards and this is what happened. >> note how president obama the rule violations were accidental. this account ridley contradicts a statement the nsa has made. it said, " rare instances of violations of authority have been found" so not all of these violations were accidental. the president was right when he said fisa courts demanded it makes changes to its surveillance program. "the guardian" has a story about
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efforts to wring nsa into compliance with court orders. using new leaks from edward snowden, they uncovered that the nsa paid millions of taxpayer dollars to technology companies so these internet businesses would be in complianceith the fisa ruling. that is not the only development humming out of the leaks today. -- coming out of the leaks today. "the independent" came out with a story about a secret service base run by the united kingdom in the least. the paper did not reveal the act sacked -- exact location. that is -- snowden had this response. "i have never spoken with,
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worked with, or provided any journalistic material to the independent. they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information attitude it to others -- and attributing it to others." "the independent" denies this. neil mcbride is leaving his post. his office is currently in the national spotlight or a probe into the virginia governor and his family for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and loans from the ceo of a dietary supplement with regulatory business in the state. he is known for the prosecution of cia whistleblower -- a cia whistleblower who told the times
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about the systemic torture program. his prosecution of kim dotcom, and racketeering and conspiracy. he filed charges against edward snowden and is heading up the investigation into transparency organization wikileaks. his exit after serving four years as u.s. ga will race questions about the status of those investigations. to discuss the exit and the high-profile cases, i was joined earlier by andrew blake. i asked him if the decision to retire was as a prize. >> it came as a surprise to most people especially given the cases he is working on right now. he was in charge of filing that indictment against edward snowden. he is on the other side of the world and it is not working out
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too well. he is involved in the indictment against wikileaks which has been several years in the making and is an ongoing case and is involved in the case against kim dotcom and megaupload. who is going to prosecute these people for the u.s. government? i thought it was rather unexpected. he was appointed by president obama early on in that administration and he has put his nose in a lot of places during that time. i was taken aback i this. i was rather surprised because here is someone i have been following because he is involved in a lot of cases that i think could have major repercussions for everyone worldwide, not just in the u.s. and not just in the eastern district of virginia. he is charge of cases like wikileaks which will have massive ramifications for journalism and democracy. the megalupload cases applications for the internet.
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he has not said why he did this or where he is going to go or what he will do after this. i think a few people were taken aback by this, myself included. >> it seems like mcbride is involved in trying under -- many cases under the espionage umbrella. is that a departure for people who held the job before him? >> i do not know if that is something you can personally blame them for. you should look at the obama administration itself. airing the past five and a half, president obama has prosecuted more people under the espionage what -- act for leaking state statements -- state secrets then any other resident combined. -- president combined. different people who put information in the public are being called spies and mcbride has been spearheading that.
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i am not sure with that will without him. a lot of people have said that is a dangerous precedent, what they have been doing especially with the wiki leaks case. the investigation is still rather mysterious. there is a grand jury sealed indictment and ulcerative testimony testimony that no one knows about. it is separate from the pfc bradley manning court-martial that had concluded and was filed by the u.s. government. investigating wiki leaks has taken the east end district court into a position where they have pursued charges or investigations against people all over the world. it is shocking to see that the u.s. government can be charging people who are not u.s. citizens of espionage. >> critics say he engages in prosecutorial overreach. the kim dotcom. could you tell us what they had to say about the prosecution?
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>> you would have to ask kim dotcom or megaupload. it was ridiculously over-the- top. essentially -- the point i am trying to make here is that the u.s. government has been going after a lot of people outside the u.s. and prosecuting them and attempting to convict them for crimes that are not illegal in those jurisdictions. we saw the fbi coordinating a raid with new zealand agencies that ended up with helicopters coming off kim dotcom's roof while his family was asleep. this is a citizen on the other side world to -- on the other side of the world who is running a website.
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can the u.s. go out there and take a journalist and charge them with espionage when they are just running a journalistic endeavor on the other side of the world? it is a bit silly but it is something that we have been seeing under the reign of mc bride. >. tha> that was andrew blake. as michael bloomberg ends the near of his reign, we decided to look at some of his more memorable decisions. things like his attempted ban on large sodas and trans fats, the blatant favoritism of wall street, and who could forget his final major act as mayor, stop and frisk. mayor bloomberg said he asked courts courts to intervene after the city council overrode his veto's to the controversy of modifications of nypd's stop and frisk measures. this is the top three most memorable, aka questionable
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moments. >> as the rush to find the next mayor is underway, i could bloomberg has left theegacy of controversy of the dions. the fight to keep stop and frisk alive is the latest. >> there is nothing [inaudible] and save lives. >> critics see it as a way to legalize racial profiling. the city council overrode the bdo to scale back the law. not too long ago, mayor bloomberg was on a crusade to ban big sugary drinks. >> this has nothing to do with tanning. 0-- banning. the size of the cup cannot be greater than 16 ounces. >> this regulation outraged critics. they saw it as another example
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of the mayor creating a nanny state. >> bloomberg is nonot around, our big gulp is safe. >> i think it gives liberals a bad name. it makes liberals look like bullies who want to tell people what to do. >> just as the band was set to go into effect them at the state supreme court struck it down. allowing new yorkers to enjoy sugary drinks and whatever size container they pleased. he also tried to get soda tax at 18%. that did not comply with the state legislature. the quest to control what we put into our bodies does not end with soda. he made near city the first major city to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.
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he banned all trans fat foods from being served at restaurants in the big apple. it is also thanks to the mayor that every big chain restaurant in the city post calorie counts on all food items. it is not clear if the move has led to people eating fewer calories or a skinnier population. one thing is clear. bloomberg is a mayor with a mission. there is still a debate of whether it is a public safety mission or a nanny state mission. >> should atheist groups receive the same tax breaks that religious organizations get? the federal government think so. the u.s. government wants to give tax breaks to leading atheist groups saying that atheist leaders can be considered ministers. atheists say, we are not a church and have no interest in being considered as such. a court battle over the tax break that allows ministers of the gospel to claim part of their salary is tax free housing
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is being contested by freedom from religion, a madison, wisconsin based atheist organization that believes the exemptions give religious groups and unfair advantage and is unconstitutional. the government lawyers say that leaders can be ministers, too, since atheism can function as a religion. to discuss this ongoing battle i was joined by the host of the sex talk politics, and religion hour and a word member of the american atheist. i started off by asking her if other atheist organizations around the country agree with the stance of freedom from religion. >> the freedom from religion organization says absolutely atheists are not churches. we look at what the law actually says, ministers of the gospel are entitled to take tax breaks for their housing, but here's the thing. any nonprofit organization in the u.s. should either be able
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to be treated as people who are doing good work or they should get the same protections that religious organizations do. the problem is that atheist groups are not churches. we are not -- none of the groups are using a supernatural claim to a higher power. whereby as are ministers of the gospel. if we are doing organizational work that requires organization, exemptions for housing, either everybody gets it or nobody does. do not try and fudge the issue by saying you are a church and you act as a religion. absolutely not. even the government does not buy that. they are bemused by the whole thing. >> what in your opinion makes this tax exemption specifically unconstitutional? >> congress shall make no law. here's the deal. let's pretend that you are a minister and i am a non-
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minister. if your job says you can have part of your salary and housing, that is money that all taxpayers are giving to you, you can deduct it off your taxes for my and you do not have to report it. whereas if i say i work with a school group that teaches science, i do not get the taxpayers to help pay my mortgage. that is unjust only because you claim to have some supernatural thing going on do you get a real and easy to see benefit that i cannot apply for because i do not claim to have god or gods or whatever on my side. it is unequal treatment. the any -- the 14th amendments is unequal protection under the law. you are treated in a manner that is preferential and i am not. also, when we look at the fact that the paperwork required to become a church, if you say i am a minister and i want to be a church and the government says
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here is your 501(c)(3) exemption , enjoy, you do not have to tell us how you're spending your money and that housing exemption, how much are you paying? that is a change since rick warren and saddleback was taking several thousand dollars for housing and protested when the government said prove you need that much. i have got to fill out a form that says i want to be a nonprofit. government, here is your $800 up front. i have to fill out a schedule 990 form which i have to go to an accountant and pay those fees. it is a burden that i have to do every single year because you are a church. you do not have to do that. you do not have to keep going back and disclosing what you get. you do not have to disclose anything at all. how do we know who is doing any kind of financial malfeasance? isn't it in the interest of the government to learn that? >> what would you like to see happen?
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>> everybody gets the exemption or nobody gets it. do not try and play lawyerball and go, you atheists are churches and ministers. no one believes that. even the lawyers making that argument do not believe it. it is an intellectual exercise for them. the real fact of the matter is that all americans need to be treated equally. this country was founded on that principle. this weekend, the anniversary of -- the 50th anniversary of the march on washington for jobs and freedom wanted everyone treated equally whether you are religious or not. >> do you think religion can provide a societal good? >> it can. so can't rave parties. can -- so can rave parties or team sports. do they? sometimes. give me a tax break if i do good, because i am doing good and hopes of avoiding hell or that is what my religious tradition tells me. do it because it is good to do.
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do it because it benefits americans. >> thank you very much. hos t of the sex, politics, and religion hour. cameron bay's health has brought the porn industry to a halt. she tested positive for hiv. she has come forward to confirm her diagnosis which prompted a moratorium on the making of bernard durfee in california. filming will be on hold until a group tests all the partners bay had two weeks before her negative test. it was only confirmed that xand ra corvis had unprotected sex with sydney leathers. she was the latest sexting partner of anthony weiner.
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she was tested and heard results were negative. i asked what those cameron bell's hiv diagnoses mean for the industry? >> it means we are going to keep doing what we're doing. i think that a lot of people try to make us responsible for what the performers do outside of the industry, but the reality is we can only be responsible for the protocols we put in place when they come into the industry to keep our performers safe and that is what we are doing. >> you have said in other interviews, one here on our network that you think female performers in your industry are usually weary of sleeping with people -- wary of sleeping with people outside the industry. do you think that cameron held the same way as you do? -- felt the same way as you do? >> i stand behind what i said
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before. i feel a majority of the porn stars are cautious of who they sleep with. because one person is not should not set the standard for everybody else. >> what measures are currently in place to protect people from contracting sti's on set? >> currently the standard is every two weeks, we get a full panel test and performers can also set their own standard. they can say they want performers to beat tested five days before or week before and some do use condoms. >> for how long will the porn industry be on hiatus? >> the protocol is to obviously test cameron and anyone who has had contact with her will be tested trade until we are clear we will not be shooting. >> we often hear about the porn industry being on high alert after a positive result. in your experience, how frequently would you say this has happened?
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>> i have been in the industry for three and a half years, and twice, someone has tested positive for hiv. both of those times, the hiv was not contracted on set. it was outside of work. a lot of people look at our industry and say twice someone has gotten hiv but they should look at it and say that is great, only two people have tested for hiv because that is what the test is therefore. for people coming in, we test them and it has not spread at all. what we are doing is working. rex would you say that you are still wary of having unprotected sex with people outside the industry? >> yes. >> will you continue to stay that way? do you like to have sex with people only in the industry given what has happened this week? >> yes, because it anytime
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anyone, no matter if you are in the industry or not, anytime you choose to be be sexually active, you are taking a risk. just because someone is putting money in my hand to have sex does not make that more dangerous. because we take extra precautions that makes it less dangerous. yes, i feel safe havig sex within the industry and i do not --[no audio] outside the industry. >> she had sex with someone who had sex with sydney leathers. how are they reacting to the revelations? >> i have not spoken to either of them so i cannot speak for either of them. >> are you scared to go back to work? >> i am no. 0--- not.
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>> you think the industry will be sound because of this? >> yes. >> thank you for speaking with us. it is one thing to have the government track your phone records and your e-mails without you knowing it that it is a different thing to have your bea u tracing your every move. thousands of brazilians downloaded the app that did that. you can be your own private investigator. the tracker has two install he the app. they can get text messages forwarded and then butt dial to listen to every word. it has drawn 50,000 users.
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if you need oto track him, you should probably dump him. when people think about war, what people think is battlefield. there is a war fought with keyboards and circuits rather than with bullets and explosions. for look at the digital way of fwar, here is our correspondent. >> ♪ ♪ >> according to wars in the world, there are at least 60
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countries and groups involved in military engagement. none of those are world war iii. world war iii is being waged right now. instead of nuclear bombs or chemical weapons, the weapon being wielded is cyber warfare. president obama's proposed budget for 2014 exquisite we call for more military hackers to head up escalating cyber threats from other superpowers. the budget proposes an increase to $4.7 billion. it cuts the pentagon spending overall by $3.9 billion. the department of homeland security is set to get an extra $44 million for information sharing efforts even though its budget is being drastically cut. so clearly, when it comes to defense, the u.s. is making
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cyberspace a priority. according to intelligence officials, cyber attacks and espionage have supplanted terrorism as the top security threat facing the u.s. the spending under this budget will be used to bolster defense against cyber attacks as well as boost its offensive capabilities. as edward snowden confirmed, malware. the nsa is collecting all of our digital data. chinese and russian hackers have all een in the news lately. all of the world's superpowers are involved in cyber where fair -- warfare. using language reminiscent of world war ii propaganda, robert keeler told executives, lock your doors. someone from halfway around the world is tied to get into your network looking to steal what you are developing.
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in the u.s., our supposed heroes, guys who have made their fortunes treating the tools of the cyber trade and the villains are all digital. manning, snowden, assange. information is the most prized commodity in this day and age and controlling it has become the new wielding of weapons. world war iii is being fought right now and it is digital. the winner of this war will be the one that ends up holding the most information. tonight, talk about that. follow me on twitter @theresidents. >> for more on the stories we covered, you can go to
5:30 pm you can follow me on twitter. we will see you back here at 8 p.m. welcome to "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. workers at japan's crippled nuclear plant are getting ready to dig deeper into a worrying mystery. radioactive water has leaked from at least one storage tank on the fukushima daiichi site. crews are preparing to investigate how it got out and how far it spread. officials with the tokyo electric power company said earlier this week that about 300 tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from a tank. they fear the water flowed through a ditch and into the ocean.